Risotto Cakes


We’ve been preparing for our annual North Woods trip, making lists and checking them twice, scurrying around doing last minute tasks.  We’ve also been doing snow dances every day…and with this dry weather it looks like more dancing is in order if we hope to do any cross country skiing.



Even though it’s only 5 1/2 hours to get to our main home-base it takes us days to arrive.  Many people to visit along the way…since summer is the busy season for both Scott and I we do our visiting when the ground is frozen.

To say that we travel with food is an understatement.  We bring snacks for the car and something to offer our hosts when we stay a few days, especially since both of us are of the gluten-free variety we’ve found it easier to be prepared.  Then there is the rest of the food: the piles of nuts and dried fruit and sauce jars and meats and small containers with frozen meals that I’ve been preparing over the last few weeks.  At least a third of the weight in the vehicle is a month’s worth of food!   It’s a good thing Scott put in heavy duty springs and shock absorbers so the 4Runner could handle the weight of catering…and traveling.


Stay tuned for more pictures and tales of the winter adventures!




Risotto cakes are patient: they can be made ahead, they travel well, they reheat well, and are not bad eaten cold if there is a need for some car food.  Nearly anything can be mixed in—leeks, mushrooms and peas are a classic combination but you could add tasty treats like bacon, herbs, squash, saffron, nuts, etc.


Arborio Rice

These short fat little grains with a high amylopectin starch content are a chewy creamy-liciousness when cooked.   Most of the time you don’t want creamy rice, but here you do.  I also use Arborio for rice pudding.


  • The ratio is approximately 2.5 or to 1 of liquid to rice.
  • Heat the liquid separately so when it’s slowly added to the rice (1 cup at a time) everything stays at a consistent temperature.
  • Day-old risotto makes the best Risotto Cakes.  Risotto being eaten as risotto needs to be served immediately and al dente to avoid a glutinous muck…but this muck is exactly what you want for Risotto Cakes.  It’s okay for it to longer be al dente.



Form them into little cakes and fry or bake them.   They also can be a great bite-sized appetizer.



Or spread the mixture into a pan and bake it.


There are a thousand and one recipes out there for risotto and risotto cakes, many of them are online if you’re looking for more.  Dairy free?  I have not yet made these without the cheese but I would imagine the creaminess of the rice would hold things together and it would still be quite tasty.



Risotto Cakes

Prep Time:  20 minutes     Cook Time:  20 minutes     Bake Time:  40 minutes


Heat in a sauce pan

5 cups Vegetable Stock or Water with a Vegetable Bouillon


Saute in a pan until lightly cooked:

1 cup Mushrooms (oysters are tasty)

1/2 cup Peas

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Set aside. 


Saute in a thick bottomed soup pot:

2 cups Onions or Leeks, small diced

2 stalks Celery, small diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 teaspoon Salt

Black Pepper to taste

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg, grated or ground

When onions or leeks are beginning to get translucent, add:

2 cups Arborio Rice

Saute a few minutes, stirring.


1/2 cup Dry White Wine

Stir a few minutes then add:

1 cup of the hot Vegetable Stock

Stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed into the rice.

Continue to add the stock 1 cup at a time (totaling approximately 5 cups)

When the rice is creamy add:

1 cup Parmesan or Asiago Cheese

Dash of Lemon Zest

1/2 cup Parsley, chopped


For a Risotto Bake:

Spread into a 9 x 13 pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, then slice into squares


For Risotto Cakes

Chill the risotto for a few hours or overnight.  

Stir in:

2 eggs (optional—it does help hold it together)

Form into patties (or roll them in breadcrumbs…either way is good)

Place on a well-oiled cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  

Flip the cakes then bake another 15-20 minutes.



More frosty windows by Scott.



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